Location : Spain and Austria , Spanish Pyrenees, Picos de Europa in Spain . Ehrwald and Matrei in the Austrian Alps
Start Date : Various dates from early to late May
The Salary : £85 a week, plus full board and lodgings, transport and travel insurance for the duration of the job
Despite being based in five spectacular mountain locations, the most common feedback from our guests is that it was the team on the ground who really made their holiday, and why they book to come back again and again. Most of us working in the UK office did many seasons on the ground, looking after our guests, so we know the jobs we are asking people to do, inside out. When we recruit new people to join us each season, we are looking for people who will take it as seriously as we did and enjoy it as much as we did too. These are jobs where offering very genuine hospitality to people is the key, getting to know them one to one, and enjoying the amazing mountain environment you are all living in, and inevitably sharing a bit of your life story along the way.
A Typical Day in the Job
There are two types of day on a weekly rota, Domestic and Outdoor.
A typcial domestic day would have you making sandwiches for your guests who have ordered a packed lunch for the day and delivering these to the hotel where they are based. On some days you are now not needed until 5 or 6pm in the evening. On others you might be doing an airport transfer which we offer weekly in Spain, or twice a week in Austria: doing a shopping run to a local supermarket to get supplies in for the staff apartment; welcoming the occasional arrival at the hotel from 2pm onwards etc. Many of these domestic days provide the opportuinty to get out to recce walks you haven't done before, or to enjoy other alpine activities with one of your teammates, Via Ferrata, climbing, mountain or road biking etc.
At 6 o'clock in Austrua and 7 o'clock in Spain you would be hosting 'Office Hour' with the rest of your teammates. Over a sociable drink for an hour before dinner, your guests would be picking your brains for your advice on walks for the next day, self guided or our 'organised' routes, or for other alpine activities which you may be able to help them book locally. By asking about people's previous hill walking experience, we can advise them on routes which we know, and which we think would be safe and enjoyable for them. A lot of time is spent pouring over maps, talking through routes in great detail, getting excited about the next day's adventures.
After Office Hour, you would eat dinner with your guests in the hotel, a three course evening meal with wine, where you are one of the hosts at an informal dinner party.
A typical Outdoor day would see you meeting the guests who have signed up for your Organised Walk the evening before at Office Hour. Before we leave we read through a list of things people should have with them for the day, and also describe how the day will run. During the walk you would lead from the back, stopping regularly for water and food, keep an eye on everyone's condition, whilst also making sure you are going the right way, with one eye on the weather and one on the time. Conversations with your guests flow and ebb naturally, and by the end of the walk you would have spent time chatting with everyone in the group. We offer easy, moderate and hard walks, and all will feature stunning scenery, whether you are valley bottom or ridge top.
On your return, after a shower and change of clothes, you would help at Office Hour again, and once this is finished, you would go back to the staff apartment to cook with one of your teammates, and have some downtime away from the guests.
Your language skills would be needed for daily communication with our local landlords and suppliers; booking activities for our guests with local centres (white water rafting, horse riding, canyoning etc.; sorting out problems with car hire and lost luggage; and accompanying our guests to the doctors or hospital to help translate as and when there was the need. You would need to speak Spanish or German to a good intermediate level at least, and be able to express yourself clearly.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for friendly, courteous and engaging characters, outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the company of others, who would enjoy looking after guests on mountain holidays in a genuinely hospitable way, sharing your local knowledge to help people get the best of their holiday in the mountains.
• Experience of hill walking with good outdoor map reading navigation skills would be needed, but not necessarily experience of having led groups before.
• Ideally, you would also be a confident driver with at least a year's experience on the road.
• A good level of spoken Spanish, able to express yourself clearly in day to day situations.
• You would also need to be able to drive, with at least one year’s experience on your licence.
Although these jobs are based in Austria and Spain you would need to have the legitimate right to work in the UK. Practically this means you would need to have:
• A British National Insurance Number
• If you are not a UK National, but you have an EU passport, you would also have to be working under British National Insurance Legislation for at least a month before the jobs started for us to be able to employ you in Europe
• A current First Aid certificate
What we can offer you
We provide all meals, accommodation, travel to and from the UK to resort in our minibuses, and travel insurance for the season. Whilst the wage is very much a seasonal one, the job is structured to give you plenty of time in the mountains, not only with your guests, but also on domestic day afternoons and the weekly day off. It is a very satisfying 'present tense' existence, where problems are generally solved on the spot, and you can focus on what you are doing daily, without too much need to worry about the next day.